But one thing you can be absolutely certain of- you will have challenges and problems, no matter what. And when those problems come, you’ll only have two choices in how you react: positively or negatively.
There is so much to be learned through Buddha that are continually relevant in our lives every year and with every circumstance you may face. The simple and beautiful wisdom provides eloquent lessons in life and reminders when you may need them. The following is a list of the top 25 most insightful and life changing lessons from Buddha’s wealth of knowledge.
“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” ~Buddha
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”.
Bauddha Dharma' (Buddhism) can be translated as 'Religion of the Buddha' or 'Way of Buddha'. Thus it means following the teachings of the enlightened one. Buddhism was founded in the north-eastern part of India (Between India and Nepal). Buddhism is a nontheistic religion (Independent from the belief or non-belief of God); Mahayana tradition is considered polytheistic.
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
I have come to a couple of related ideas which are common in Buddhism and they are the ideas of karma and rebirth. These ideas are closely inter-related, but because the subject is a fairly wide one, we will begin to deal with the idea of karma today and rebirth in another post.
Do you Buddhists believe in rebirth as an animal in the next life? Are you going to be a dog or a cow in the future? Does the soul transmigrate into the body of another person or some animal? What is the difference between transmigration and reincarnation? Is it the same as rebirth? Is karma the same as fate? These and a hundred similar questions are often put to me.
Upon the Full Moon of the month of Visakha, now more than two thousand five hundred years ago, the religious wanderer known as Gotama, formerly Prince Siddhartha and heir to the throne of the Sakiyan peoples, by his full insight into the Truth called Dharma which is this mind and body, became the One Perfectly Enlightened by himself.
His Enlightenment or Awakening, called Sambodhi, abolished in himself unknowing and craving, destroyed greed, aversion and delusion in his heart, so that "vision arose, super-knowledge arose, wisdom arose, discovery arose, light arose - a total penetration into the mind and body, its origin, its cessation and the way to its cessation which was at the same time complete understanding of the "world," its origin, its cessation and the way to its cessation. He penetrated to the Truth underlying all existence. In meditative concentration throughout one night, but after years of striving, from being a seeker, He became "the One-who-Knows, the One-who-Sees."
Essentially, according to Buddhist teachings, the ethical and moral principles are governed by examining whether a certain action, whether connected to body or speech is likely to be harmful to one's self or to others and thereby avoiding any actions which are likely to be harmful. In Buddhism, there is much talk of a skilled mind. A mind that is skilful avoids actions that are likely to cause suffering or remorse.
This article is intended to give a brief introduction to Buddhism. It will discuss the way Buddhists perceive the world, the four main teachings of the Buddha, the Buddhist view of the self, the relationship between this self and the various ways in which it responds to the world, the Buddhist path and the final goal.
The Three Marks of Existence
Buddhism has been described as a very pragmatic religion. It does not indulge in metaphysical speculation about first causes; there is no theology, no worship of a deity or deification of the Buddha. Buddhism takes a very straightforward look at our human condition; nothing is based on wishful thinking, at all. Everything that the Buddha taught was based on his own observation of the way things are. Everything that he taught can be verified by our own observation of the way things are.
Setting in Motion the Wheel of Truth (Dhammacakkappavattana-Sutta)(1)
(The First Discourse of the Buddha)
(For seven weeks immediately following the enlightenment, the Buddha spent his time in lonely retreat. At the close of this period he decided to proclaim the doctrine (Dhamma), he had realized, to those five ascetics who were once struggling with him for enlightenment. Knowing that they were living at Isipatana (modern Sarnath), still steeped in the unmeaning rigours of extreme asceticism, the master left Gaya, where he attained enlightenment, for distant Varanasi, India's holy city. There at the Deer Park he rejoined them.)
The first teaching ever given by the Buddha was to five student monks in a deer park. The Buddha spoke of the Four Noble Truths he had discovered while struggling for enlightenment, these are the central teachings of Buddhism. It was the Buddha's first awareness that life brings with it illness, age, misery and death that lead him to search for a deeper understanding of how we live, and ways to end suffering.
"The mind is everything. What you think you become". ~ Buddha
The rooted meaning of Enlightenment really consists of recognizing the Buddha nature that is within us already.
Our Buddha nature is our true self, our soul. It’s the fundamental nature of all beings, the self that is one with everything, the part that realizes this fact. It’s the self that is fully enlightened and perfect. Most people don't know how much wisdom and power resides in the self, which is not the everyday self that gets mixed up with all the chaos, the business and the day-to-day routines of our daily life, but a deeper self, which I call the true self, the soul. In reality, it’s who we are right now, even if we don’t realize it.
It’s important to realize this is not some goal to be achieved— each and every one of us is fully enlightened already. We just have to awaken to this fact and overcome the deceptions that are preventing us from realizing the fundamental truth of our being. This is not easy an task to achieve, but there are methods and meditation practices that can help us on this path.
When the Buddha had electrified the ancient world with his teachings and his example, people came to him and asked, “What are you? A god, a saint, an angel?” And he replied: “I am awake.” Within this statement is embedded the heart of Buddhism's unique position among the world's spiritual traditions. For as the Buddha showed, each of us can overcome the “sleep” of ordinary consciousness and awaken our hearts and minds to achieve the true freedom that every moment of life offers us.
Buddhism's most basic foundation for mindful living is the Ten Perfections. These perfections— which include such universal virtues as truthfulness, simplicity, and lovingkindness— offer immediate answers to the problems and challenges we face every day of our lives. By using them as keys, you can unlock the human gate to supreme wisdom and open fully to the perfection within each moment of experience.
1. The Buddha — The self awakened one. The original nature of the Heart;
2. The Dhamma — The Teaching. The nature of reality;
3. The Sangha — (a) The Awakened Community (b) Any harmonious assembly (c) All Beings.
To understand Buddhism, you have to first understand the man behind one of the world’s most popular religions. Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, was born a wealthy prince in India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE.
The Buddha’s teachings offer the most satisfactory explanation of where man came from and where he is going. When we die, the mind, with all the tendencies, preferences, abilities and characteristics that have been developed and conditioned in this life, re-establishes itself in a new being. Thus the new individual grows and develops a personality conditioned both by the mental characteristics that have been carried over from the previous life and by the new environment. The personality will change and be modified by conscious effort and conditioning factors like education, parental influence and society but once again at death, it will re-establish itself as life in a new being. This process of dying and being reborn will continue until the conditions that cause it, the mental factors of craving and ignorance, cease. When they do, instead of being reborn, the mind attains a state called Nirvana.
Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.
Buddhist | Two Spirits, One Soul – The Journey Within
You don't have a soul... You are a Soul. You have a body.
My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you.
Because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united. We are the same. We are one.